My efforts at building an Aquaponics system have grown over the years, now I am looking at full blown Life Support.  This will blend my interests in self-sufficiency with those of space settlement.  And … it is a natural progression of my goals.  So, what am I talking about?

In 2010 I started gathering information to be able to grow food at home.  But tilling up a part of the yard was just plain too much work.  So I began researching hydroponics.  After a few weeks, I realized it just might work and set about to create my own system (to be covered in other posts later).  While my anal, perfectionist personality kept changing things up, ever looking for a better way to accomplish various tasks, I kept struggling with the issues that plague all hydro-farming systems: namely, expense, and labor.  This just wasn’t right!

Aquaponics with rain catch and sump

Enter Aquaponics.  This is a methodology where instead of regularly purchasing high-priced nutrient solutions, one adds a fish pond to the system.  So I dived in … literally!  After several years of tinkering it has become clear that I need to step up my game.  Having gotten to the point that I was catching rain to top off the water, the flows from the pump had smoothed out, and I believe I’ve got the sump working well now.

I recently became aware of a movement where people are moving into Tiny Homes.  These tiny homes vary from 150 square feet to as much as 400 square feet in a very small foot print.  Often smaller than a cottage.  The rooms are usually multi-purpose, and often there is only one.  The cost is substantially lower than a constructed home, sometimes only a few thousand dollars.

So, I thought, why not build a tiny home, and put a fish pond, and garden inside.  Yes, I said INSIDE. Well, my interest in space settlement offered the question:  HOW SMALL?  So I took an inventory.

Utility Trailer

Habitation for one could be quite small, under 100 square feet, if you had to.  In fact, many cabins are actually in that range!  I already owned a 4′ x 8′ utility trailer.  So set about a few quick sketches.

If I build the fish pond in the floor, and put a clear cover over that was supported, there would be no loss of living space.  And I had recently seen several posts online referring to growing crops using cylinders hung on a wall.  Intriguing!

So, let’s get this show on the road!